Introduction To Roto

Rotoscoping In Resolve : An Introduction

September 2, 2015

Rotoscoping in Resolve is becoming more and more necessary. Dan shares some hints and tips on how he approaches the task.

Rotoscoping is one of the most overlooked but necessary parts of postproduction.

In Resolve, it’s slow, difficult and frustrating when you don’t do it often but as with most things in post, with practice and regular use, you can become much more efficient

As a colorist, you may be thinking when will I need to rotoscope something?

I felt that way too but as I get to work on bigger and more difficult commercials the need for fine rotoscoping is becoming more and more necessary.

For example, check out this commercial I graded.

In my video Insight below, I explain how I failed at rotoscoping a section in this commercial and needed to send it to a compositor to finish.

More and more clients are expecting me to be able to deliver compositor level results as part of the grade.

In this Insight, I give you an overview of how I lay out my nodes and also the key to efficient rotoscoping.


– Dan

Member Content

Sorry... the rest of this content is for members only. You'll need to login or Join Now to continue (we hope you do!).

Need more information about our memberships? Click to learn more.

Membership options
Member Login

Are you using our app? For the best experience, please login using the app's launch screen


Homepage Forums Rotoscoping In Resolve : An Introduction

  • Have you tried isolating a channel and increase the contrast and using it (or a portion of it) as a alpha or a basis of a key?

  • Marc Wielage

    Whenever I get exasperated doing roto in Resolve, I think of that guy who recreated the Vermeer painting pixel-by-pixel (for 9 months). Compared to that, rotoscoping is easy. I like to think the toolset in Fusion will be better for this kind of work.

  • Did the online editor apply final color to those shots or pass it back to you? Great insight, Dan!

  • juansalvo

    Dan are you using the panel, tablet or mouse to do your roto in session?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    If you try it you’ll find it doesn’t work. Here’s a simple way to test it:

    • Track a face

    • Go to the start of the shot and blow away your track

    • Do a ‘Add Serial before current’

    • In the new serial node use you curves and drop luminance to zero

    • Re-do the track in the following node.

    The track will work precisely like it did before… which basically reveals that Resolve is tracking on the incoming image off the Media Pool and ignoring all your corrections. If you’re working RAW, then your RAW manipulations may be used to help with your track since, like the rest of the toolset, RAW manipulations are not considered a grade but rather, something that happens before we start grading.

  • Marc Wielage

    BTW, forgot to say there’s some great ideas in there, Dan. Just had to do a very difficult roto the other day, and I did use your advice to break the shape down into four separate shapes… and it actually worked quite well. It was a much tighter, more accurate mask than I can generally do within Resolve.

Log in to reply.

1,000+ Tutorials to Explore

Get full access to our entire library of over 1,100+ color tutorials for an entire week!

Start Your Test Drive!